Beehives buzz with activity atop Salt Lake City’s library

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SALT LAKE CITY – There are bees living in hives at a local library, but officials said the insects are there for a purpose.

Salt Lake City’s official beekeeper harvested honey Friday from the hives kept atop the rooftop terrace at the Salt Lake City Public Library System's main library downtown.

Beekeeper Frank Whitby said he is trying to encourage urban beekeeping, as he says bees are vital to the survival of many plant species. Whitby, with the help of some local Boy Scouts, removed some of the honey for sampling and for entry in the Utah State Fair.

"We've removed the surplus honey from the hives today, in order to extract it so we can have a taste of the product of the hive, and we left the bees with enough honey to make it through the winter,” he said. “The hives are healthy. We have four hives up here on the roof of the library, now they need to get ready for winter.”

This year’s honey supply is named “The Catcher in the Hive.” The name is a reference to the famous novel by J.D. Salinger published in 1951, “The Catcher in the Rye”.

Beekeeping is legal in Salt Lake City, provided those keeping bees meet certain requirements. Click here for details about keeping bees from Salt Lake City’s website.